Barcelona intend to offer Inter forward Lautaro Martinez a contract worth €10 million (£9m/$11m) a year as they attempt to bring the Argentina international to the Camp Nou, sources close to the deal have confirmed.
Despite the financial uncertainty caused around the world of football by the coronavirus pandemic, Barcelona are working on their number one transfer target.
They want to bring Lautaro to Spain, and are willing to offer an eight figure salary to entice the player over from Serie A.
While an impressive sum, it is also significantly less than the current wages of Luis Suarez, the main striker currently in the Barcelona side. This will allow the club to stay within financial fair play rules, which stipulate they cannot spend more than 70 per cent of their annual income on staff salaries.
Lautaro has been in sensational form this season for Inter, scoring 16 goals in 31 appearances before the Covid-19 outbreak paused football across Europe.
This has drawn the attention of the biggest clubs around the continent, however Barcelona now appear to be at the front of the queue for the player.
Chelsea were also heavily linked with Lautaro, but Goal understand that Borussia Dortmund winger and England international Jadon Sancho is their primary transfer target.
While Chelsea would be in the market for a striker should Olivier Giroud turn down the offer of a new contract and leave Stamford Bridge, it is not currently their top priority.
Real Madrid have also been touted as a destination, with his agent Beto Yaque saying the player has never ruled out moving to Barcelona’s great rivals.
However, Yaque says that Lautaro’s main focus is currently on his football at Inter, rather than any external speculation.
He told Mundo Deportivo: “He treats it as if it is nothing, because he is only focused on his club. But surely there is great satisfaction knowing that he is doing things well.”
In addition to competition from other clubs for the player, Barca also face a fight against the clock to get a deal done before his release clause expires.
Lautaro is currently available for €111 million (£97m$121m), with that clause set to expire on July 15.